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Completed
Arsenal Military Academy
169 people found this review helpful
Aug 30, 2019
48 of 48 episodes seen
Completed 6
Overall 9.5
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 10
Music 9.5
Rewatch Value 8.0

Cinematographic Political Military Drama — But Beware Love Triangles and Second Half!

I honestly cannot stop thinking about and watching this show - not only because of the great production value, but also because of the themes, the dynamics amongst the cast members, and also because of the great chemistry between the main leads!

I'd highly recommend having a watch if you like these tropes:

♡ Lead Falls for Girl First: Xu Kai + Bai Lu are well known for their romance in The Legends, but interestingly Xu Kai's character Gu Yanzheng has a lot of traits that we usually associate with second leads in dramas. Gu Yanzheng clearly falls for Xie Xiang first and constantly tries to pursue her while also protecting her - even if Xie Xiang is always annoyed by him and bickers with him. Gu Yanzheng also has a troublemaking, playboy, childish personality, but deep inside he has not yet experienced his first love yet and is still very inexperienced, which makes their relationship much cuter!

♡ Great Cast Chemistry: You will feel deeply for all the students of the military academy, and all of their interesting stories and backgrounds. The drama really emphasizes the role of brotherhood, friendship, loyalty, and patriotism.

♡ Interesting Political Context: The drama is set during WWI, and takes place in a period when Japanese victories & their growing sphere of influence resulted in ambitious desires to encroach upon Chinese sovereignty. How the students face this and the actions they take, especially after having suffered from Japanese attacks, is a central part of this drama.

♡ Slow Burn Romance: In terms of actual romance, romantic fluffy scenes are interspersed between serious military training and events. The first half is very fluffy and adorable in terms of romance, while the second half almost eliminates most of the romantic parts. However, I personally feel that this makes the romance even stronger because of how deeply you can see the characters care for each other, and also because of how the life or death situations make them stronger together. The romance comes as a result of their strong brotherhood, friendship, and camaraderie, and continues to develop as they work together in turbulent political times.

♡ Crossdressing Well Done: Xie Xiang really knows how to fight, and works really hard to not only meet the expectations that people have of her but even surpass the skills of her peers. I also like how Bai Lu did a great job acting as an actual boy (even if skinnier or smaller) and how her reasons for doing so were meaningful. You can also see her physical capabilities improve as well, and she is very smart - when situations go wrong, she is out there holding a gun and fighting, not just passively sitting there or waiting to be protected.

♡ Loveable Side Characters and Interesting Villains: You will love a lot of the side characters, such as Xie Xiang's friends, and you will get invested into love rivals and their stories as well. In addition, the relationship between the teachers and students is also very endearing. I won't go into spoilers, but the main villain is also interesting and has very complex motivations that I think adds to the suspense and intensity of the drama.

♡ Little Filler: There's not a lot of filler in the drama - every episode I had to continue and keep watching because it was so intense, and there's something happening that's important in every episode (as well as cute moments every episode too!)

However, there are also some things you might not like about the drama:

♥ It is a Military/Patriotic Drama: There is a lot of patriotism and nationalism in this drama. I've heard that scenes also had to be cut from the drama and filled with more "patriotic" scenes because of the current ban on Chinese dramas due to the 70th anniversary of the PRC. I personally liked this aspect because it was integrated in a way that showed just how deeply the characters loved their country, and how they were willing to risk their lives for this, but some people might be thrown off by this and also see it as veering on propaganda.

♥ Angst-Heavy Last 10 Episodes: As a shift from the lighthearted, even almost fluffy beginning and middle of the drama, all the angst seems to culminate and intensify in the last stretch of the drama. Some characters also suddenly lose a lot of screen time without explanation, while others suddenly gain a lot more (I think this is partly due to pacing issues, with the director even mentioning feeling sorry that there was a lot of content cut out in the final edits.) You can really tell that the drama attempted to shift from almost romantic comedy to intense patriotic wartime drama, which is something that might seem jarring and unsatisfying. I will also warn - there are NO KISS SCENES in this drama between our main couple, and so while it is a "happy ending" it may not be what everyone is wanting or expecting.

♥ Love Triangles: There are a lot of love triangles and love relationships in this drama. Without spoiling anything, I will say that this is one of the dramas where if the posters didn't really advertise our main ship, I would be really confused about who exactly Xie Xiang will get together with in the first half of the drama. There are also some cinematographic and script choices that seemed to put emphasis towards one couple, but then switch to focus on the other part of the love triangle in the next episode. If you are interested in what the love triangles are (please be warned of some spoilers here) the main one is #1) Gu Yanzheng ~ Xie Xiang ~ Shen Junshan. However, there is also #2) Shen Tingbai ~ Qu Manting ~ Gu Yanzheng and #3) Xianrong ~ Shen Junshan ~ Xie Xiang. I will warn beforehand about this because Shen Junshan also plays quite big of a role, and this can lead to a lot of confusions or dissatisfaction with the romance. What I will say is that Gu Yanzheng only loves Xie Xiang and never loves anyone else for those who are really looking to see more Xu Kai and Bai Lu moments.

I'd recommend you watch this if you liked dramas that have romance BUT also have social/political tension in them. The drama is also very high quality and the sets, clothing design, and general atmosphere of the drama are very well done and true to the Republican era of that period. If you really want something with a great romance, interesting plot line, but also delves into some of the history and social themes of that period, I'd highly recommend you pick this up to binge watch. You definitely won't be able to put it down!

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Completed
Lucky's First Love
60 people found this review helpful
Sep 28, 2019
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 6.0

Fluffy and Sweet Slice of Life Romance That's Easy To Watch!

If you want a light watch without much drama, and focuses on character development and daily romance, this is a drama you might be interested in! Xing Yun has worked for her boss Xia Ke since their gaming company was a small startup, up to its growing success today. She doesn’t have any relationship experience at all, and as she ventures into dating and finding her true love, her boss somehow always keeps getting involved.

I'd highly recommend having a watch if you like these tropes:

♡ Reserved on the Outside, Considerate on the Inside: I loved how our male lead was actually very kind and how his characterization is really refreshing. Xia Ke has a personality where he is hard to get familiar with, but he is incredibly caring, patient, and never tries to force his feelings on those he loves. He's not arrogant or tries to control Xing Yun - instead he waits after her and he tries to help her achieve her own goals, instead of doing them for her instead. He sometimes even holds back his own feelings and desires to make sure that Xing Yun is happy and to protect her. Xing Xiao Lin did a great job portraying Xia Ke as someone who is independent and ambitious, but also shows insecurities and even can defer to Xing Yun out of his love for her.

♡ A Healthy Relationship and Love: Xia Ke and Xing Yun have a very sweet yet realistic relationship. From the first episode, you discover they have already worked with each other for a long time, and have a strong bond because they both deeply respect each other’s work ethic and care for each other. However, the drama also depicts how they eventually realize their feelings are romantic, and how Xing Yun’s “first love experiences” eventually lead her to her “final love” with Xia Ke.

♡ Office Romance: Xing Yun is an artistic developer, and the drama focuses on her and Xia Ke’s efforts to create an otome game (mobile dating-sim targeted at girls, the game in the drama seems to be modelled after the very popular Love and Producer: Mr. Love Queen’s Choice). This means that there are a lot of cute scenes in the working environment, and work also poses as both a catalyst and sometimes even as a problem in the drama’s storyline.

♡ Best Kiss Scenes: Without spoiling too much, I will say that this drama has some of the hottest and well-acted kiss scenes. They’re not small pecks or surface kisses, but instead filled with emotions and show both Xia Ke and Xing Yun’s true feelings for each other. These are meaningful and passionate kisses, and they were definitely one of the biggest highlights of the show.

♡ Drama-Lite: The drama overall doesn’t have any outlandish or heart-wrenching problems. It’s quite light on the angst and problems often reflect real life issues, such as work issues or relationship issues. There’s a lot of focus as well on character growth, and how our leads develop a lot both in love and in their careers. I will admit there are some situations (usually meant to drive plot) which may seem unrealistic, but overall the general atmosphere is that this is a romance that focuses on the daily lives and goals of its characters.

However, there are some things that you might not like:

♥ Side Characters: Some of the side characters really frustrated me because of how they were introduced, and also how sometimes they caused a lot of the bigger problems in the drama. The drama synopsis indicates that there are three pairings: #1) Xing Yun and Xia Ke are the main couple, #2) the storyline involving Xia Ke’s sister, her ex-husband, and Chu Nan, as well as the pairing involving #3) Xia Ke’s friend Ah Yu. However, the drama didn’t really treat the couples with equal attention, which made it difficult for me to be as invested in them as I was in our main couple. In the beginning Xia Ke's sister and Chu Nan played a very big role, but then completely dropped in the middle and barely showed up in the ending. On the other hand, Ah Yu becomes important in the middle of the drama, and gets more scenes up to the final episode. I would say that I probably was only emotionally invested in Xia Ke and Xing Yun, and found myself often skipping the parts involving the side characters.

♥ Chemistry: This is really my own personal preference, but I think that Bai Lu and Xing Xiao Lin were cute, but did not have an "intense" chemistry. This does not mean that they had no chemistry at all, but instead that I think they made a sweet couple that’s good for a light easy watch, but didn’t make me think about their romance after the drama or feel deeply attached to their pairing. This does not mean you shouldn’t watch the drama, because I know other viewers may not have this issue or find this a non-issue, and also because I admit being influenced under the chemistry that Bai Lu and Xing Xiao Lin had with their other co-actors in their previous works. However, it is to say that I may not choose to rewatch this and will just take this drama for being the lighthearted story that it is.

Overall, I would recommend this drama if you want something to take your mind off of the day, and to watch a romance that focuses on the daily life of our main couple. This is a relatively short and sweet drama that’s very watchable, and it’s great especially when you don’t want something too heavy or too angsty.

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Completed
The Sweet Girl
40 people found this review helpful
Feb 29, 2020
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 2
Overall 7.5
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 7.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 7.5

The Sweetest Couple!

Because the plot on MyDramaList was a little confusing at first, I constantly ignored this drama and put it aside. The female lead Mi Jiu Er is known as Superflash, and is a poor heroine who protects and takes care of refugees in the city. She ends up swapping places with her doppelgänger, who is the manager of the male lead's clothing workshop. Honestly, this drama is an underrated gem, and generally is very solid with one of the happiest and most well-written endings that I've seen recently in Chinese dramas. If you go into this for sparkly and passionate romance, a really cute main couple, and don't except an intense story too much, I definitely encourage you to watch this!

I'd highly recommend having a watch if you like these tropes:

♡ Enemies to Lovers: Luo Yin Ran and Mi Jiu Er are constantly bickering in the beginning. While Yin Ran is a cold, reserved male lead who hates uncleanliness and is devoted to his work, he never hurts the female lead. Over time, he grows to protect her, and even puts down his own feelings and his wellbeing for Mi Jiu Er's happiness. The relationship between these two is incredibly healthy, and Luo Yin Ran never crosses boundaries that could hurt the female lead. This trope is also repeated with the second couple in this drama, who are also very loveable and also have a very sweet relationship as well.

♡ So Many Kisses: The amount of passion and sweetness in all the kisses made my heart flutter! Both the main actor Kris Sun and actress Jin Wen Xin are adorable, and their kisses are so well shot. There are sweet and lovely kisses, but also romantic ones, and even some that show tinges of bittersweetness. The actors did a great job in showing the emotion of their characters through all of the kiss scenes, and many of the kisses were lengthy and passionate (instead of being frozen or stiff).

♡ Gorgeous Production Value: All of the clothes (especially as this is a drama which focuses on the clothing industry) are beautiful. The scenes are so wonderfully shot, and the buildings and sets are gorgeous. I believe that this is a Republican era drama (it isn't exactly clear in the series because the show doesn't really focus on the political context) and so you will see an interesting mix of Western clothing on Pei Zhuo and Chinese clothing on Luo Yin Ran.

♡ Generally Drama and Angst Lite: There are moments where the drama ventures into more sad scenes. Our main couple does experience some periods of sadness, but they also communicate and try to work out their problems. This is therefore great to pick up if you just want something to relax to and something where you don't have to think too much.

♡ Solid Storyline and Very Watchable: There are enemies and problems in this drama, but because it's only 24 episodes, there is little to no filler, and you have a great beginning, an interesting setup, and one of my all time favourite endings. If you want a whole story that's completed, instead of finding out that there's a cliffhanger or a "Season 2" after finishing, I highly recommend that you watch this. You will be completely satisfied by the progression of the story.

♡ My Boy Fan Xiao Dong: If you've watched the Chinese drama the Rules of Love, Fan Xiao Dong is the actor who plays the second male lead. If your heart was crushed by second lead syndrome in that drama, it'll (unfortunately) also be crushed here too as Fan Xiao Dong plays the lonely second love interest Pei Zhuo. I think that out of all the actors, Fan Xiao Dong did the best job, because he was simultaneously a character that you could be deeply sympathetic with at one second, and then hateful towards during the next. In any case, I think his character had one of the biggest changes to his personality and mindset, and that this drama is an opportunity to see another side of his acting.

However, there are also some things you might not like about the drama:

♥ Chemistry: It took some time for me to get used to Kris Sun and Jin Wen Xin. They do have a large age gap, and I felt very lukewarm about their chemistry during the first couple episodes. In addition, I feel that some of the earlier episodes create more sparks between Mi Jiu Er and the second male lead Pei Zhuo, and have more scenes with them clearly showing some affection towards each other. However, once you keep watching, especially when Luo Yin Ran begins to fall for Mi Jiu Er, you start to warm up to them and the kisses definitely are exploding with chemistry.

♥ Somewhat Rocky Acting: There are some scenes where I as not really convinced of the main actors and actress. Jin Wen Xin's interpretation of Mi Jiu Er definitely can come off as very childish (especially as she is so petite). This also gets me on to the dubbing, where Jin Wen Xin's absolutely lovely husky voice in real life is changed into a very childish-sounding, high pitched one, which some viewers may not like. However, over time her brash and straightforward personality becomes very endearing. Sometimes I also felt Kris Sun struggled with the more emotionally demanding scenes, especially ones that involved crying or anger. However, I think both still did a solid job, but whether it was their acting or the story itself, I do think that there are some scenes in which the acting is a little stiff and/or unnatural.

♥ Some Parts Can be Boring, Especially the First Stretch: I did skip some times during the drama, and do find that the beginning is probably the hardest to get through, because the setup is done in a way where you don't feel like it's high stakes or are drawn in to the story. I did drop it several times initially, before I started getting through the more expository episodes, and started really seeing the romance develop.

♥ Not a Huge Focus on Succeeding in the Clothing Industry: The background plot does involve the vying for power in the clothing industry amongst different businesses that are in the industry. I do think that this was a great idea to tie in the overall story and to give some urgency to the plot. However, note that this is not a story of how Mi Jiu Er overcomes obstacles and becomes a wonderful and capable manager, or that she grows to become skilled in the industry. While part of the story does involve how Luo Yin Ran acquires greater fame in the industry, the main focus is really on our main couple. So you will not really be seeing the characters improve per se, but instead a greater emphasis on the romance that develops between them (and then some scheming that occurs from other companies.)

I'd recommend you watch this if you liked dramas that have lots of fluffy romance, are beautifully filmed, and also love a lot of romantic tropes. I do think you need to have your expectations set - this is no groundbreaking Chinese drama where you may feel the need to binge watch - but is a very solid and well done show overall. If you're looking for something that's sweet and light, then this is for you!

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Ongoing 38/38
Unexpected Falling
36 people found this review helpful
Nov 25, 2022
38 of 38 episodes seen
Ongoing 1
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 8.0

From Threads of Lies Comes an Entangled Web of Love

Unexpected Falling definitely lives up to its namesake; I unexpectedly fell hard for its gorgeous cinematography, delicious angst and pacing, and the frustrating yet heady chemistry between Peng Guanying and Cai Wenjing in their second work together after The Confidence (2020). This is a super slow-burn romance, which is mostly about the mystery behind the FL's deceased husband. It's not an intense thriller with bloody crimes; instead the story mostly revolves around large business dealings (i.e. stock trading and manipulation), and the gradual romance between two people who start off as enemies, become reluctant friends, and end as passionate lovers.

I'd highly recommend having a watch for these reasons:

♡ A Chemistry and Romance that Simmers: For those of you who love pining, angst, and seeing our characters slowly fall for each other even knowing they shouldn’t, this drama is chock-full of all of these tropes. Unexpected Falling does an amazing job at showing the gradual change in two people who initially suspect each other, but then slowly begin inviting each other into their lives. This is not a fluffy, sweet, and rosy-tinged romance; instead it is one about two older characters who have undergone trauma, hardships, and have their own regrets and limitations. After the exhausting and tiring experiences in their life, they come together finding solace and comfort in each other. I loved how the drama slowly peels away the layers of our characters; while at first you think Zhenzhen has a very negative personality, and Guo Jun is extremely arrogant and domineering, you slowly realize these are only the surface impressions of our leads who are very flawed characters.

♡ Beautiful Cinematography and Poetic Lines: This drama uses a lot of darker colours and tones, and has a very melancholy atmosphere and feeling across the entirety of the story. I loved the attention to details made through its filmography; for example, certain camera angles are used in order to make you suspect the identities of characters, and also create narrative tension throughout the series. There are also other hints, including character habits (e.g. the drinking of water, the wearing of glasses, certain repeated dialogues, etc.) that are consistent with certain plot reveals throughout the drama. Most of all, I loved how the drama uses a lot of domestic scenes (e.g. taking your lover’s coat, cooking a meal, tying one’s hair) between our main leads that show how much they want to be close to each other yet at the same time must restrain themselves. This is a drama that doesn’t tell things through dialogue; instead it’s one where the visual language — from gazes, expressions, and lots of staring — are used to communicate to the viewer instead.

♡ Refreshing, Adult Characters: Similar to the calm atmosphere and the moody colour palette of the drama, our main characters are very mature and complex personalities. Ruan Zhenzhen is one of my favourite female leads of all time, because of how few Chinese drama FLs are extremely reserved and introverted. She is not a happy or upbeat character, but instead is someone who has few friends, ruminates a lot and experiences depressive episodes, and often keeps to herself. She is hard to get close to and distrusts people easily, but only because of the excessive lengths she goes to when protecting and caring for the people who she loves most. On the other hand, Peng Guanying does an amazing job showing the expressions, struggle, and guilt that he faces as Guo Jun. Not only does he have incredible charisma and presence, but you start off suspecting him and even disliking him, before falling in love for how swoony and protective he is towards Zhenzhen. Both of them play very realistic characters and personalities, and it's quite a nice breather from the recent wave of youth and campus romances.

♡ Interesting Background Plot and Relationships: One thing this drama also demonstrates is relationships, especially with families, friends, and the people who are in your life. There are a lot of characters who become hateful and despicable after Zhenzhen’s husband’s death, for reasons including money, jealousy, and bitterness. There are also others who go above and beyond to show their loyalty and support for Zhenzhen through her pain. Moreover, there is also a central mystery revolving around the financial world; although I didn’t find this as interesting, I appreciated how the drama used all of its characters to show the complicated and tangled relationships surrounding their crimes.

However, there are also some things you might not like about the drama:

♥ The Road to Happiness is Bumpy with Plot Holes: Honestly, much of the angst between characters would have broken down if Zhenzhen simply did a Baidu search about some people’s identities in the beginning. I was much more forgiving of this because I was really here to watch the chemistry between the main characters, but a lot of things are pretty inconsistent. For example, inevitably given the way Gao Jun was trailing after Zhenzhen the whole drama it’s a miracle that nothing serious happened to the both of them within the first ten episodes. I think you definitely need some suspension of disbelief, because honestly the investigations and proceedings of legal cases in this show (while not unrealistic) seem to be a bit sloppy given how smart the criminals are supposed to be.

♥ This is a Relationship and Family Drama, Not Really a Crime One: I don’t think this drama does thriller or tension in plot really well because it tends to lean in towards the slow-burn approach, and there were a lot of things they could have done to make the drama more intense (i.e. giving the sense that lives were really at risk, that someone may have the possibility of being hurt, etc.) At the same time, I realize that this wasn’t the goal of the drama. This isn’t really a drama that is about hunting down financial crimes, but it is really about Zhenzhen’s growth and her navigation of the mystery itself. That being said, those who don’t like slower-paced dramas, or who prefer intense shows with lots of action (there’s honestly not much of that in here) should probably stay away from this one.

♥ A Long and Winded Slow-Burn: This is not a fast-paced drama, despite the fact that there are mysteries that need to be unraveled and crimes that are uncovered. We don’t even get to an actual relationship and more discoveries about the main underlying conflict until episodes in the 30's. You will absolutely need to be patient when watching this show; and I think if you aren’t invested in the relationship between the main characters you may end up feeling bored. There is definitely suspense and tension, but it is drawn out and comes to a slow-burning fire in the culmination of the drama. At its best, this is really a drama that focuses on the process and journey rather than the outcome; at its worst, others may consider there to be lots of filler moments (about relationships) that take away from the crime (the financial and business aspects).

♥ Some Acting Issues: Cai Wenjing is quite bubbly in real life, while Peng Guanying is very good-natured and quite extroverted in interviews. I think both of them did a good job acting as characters that were very complicated and multi-faceted, but sometimes it was clear that some of the supporting cast had more acting depth. In particular, for scenes where the FL is attacked by others or becomes surprised, Cai Wenjing's expressions were sometimes a little out of place or slightly awkward. On the other hand, Peng Guanying sometimes came off as being a little stiff in scenes with anger or frustration. However, these are relatively minor aspects to pick on, as overall I cannot really think of a better casting choice for these characters, and I really enjoyed watching them together once again.

I'd highly recommend this drama for those who want a more mature, adult watch about older lead characters, those who like darker romances (i.e. a "villain" ML even though he is actually kind inside), and a very devoted ML who initially distrusts the FL and then grows to fall in love with her loyalty and kindness to the people around her. It’s not for everyone, given the fact that it seems to market itself as a series about criminal cases and a shady death, but is actually about the relationships that Ruan Zhenzhen builds through her experience with this situation. If you go in with lowered expectations and are a fan of romances between two people marred by the passing of life experiences, then you’ll find this a suspenseful watch with a main couple that leaves you breathless at how beautiful and encompassing their love for each other is.

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Completed
The Legend of Jin Yan
55 people found this review helpful
Jul 9, 2020
34 of 34 episodes seen
Completed 1
Overall 6.5
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 6.5
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 6.5

Fluffy Illogical Romance with a Cheesy and Adorable CP

The Legend of Jinyan is a lighthearted, fluffy historical romcom, with lots of sweet scenes between the main couple (CP), and a lower focus on plot and political scheming. Most criticisms generally focus towards the characters in the show, especially Kabby Hui’s acting as the FL and Chen Jingke’s portrayal of the ML. I admit both have A LOT of romantic scenes together, and so if you do not like them as characters, I would NOT recommend this as a series that you would enjoy. There are also a lot of logical issues with the story and characters, and the series is full of extended misunderstandings. However, this drama suited a lot of my own personal tastes, and so if you want something that is completely focused on romance, is an easy watch, and has a CP with lots of chemistry, then this might be something you are interested in!

I'd highly recommend having a watch if you like these tropes:

♡ A Bickering Couple that is Stupidly Cute Together: Jinyan and Xiao Yu are so adorable together. They have a couple dynamic where on the outside they constantly argue, but on the inside they are both always looking out and caring for each other. They are both childish and naive in love, but also are incredibly loyal to one another, despite the fact that they are hiding their true identities. Considering this is one of Chen Jingke’s first ML roles, he did a great job portraying a young king who could sometimes be temperamental and easily angered, but also cared about his people and treasures Jinyan deeply. Kabby Hui was adorable as Jinyan, who is stubborn and often gets herself in trouble, but is willing to work hard and even sacrifice her own safety to protect King Yu and her own family.

♡ Fluff Everywhere: The best thing about this show for those of you who love romance is that literally every episode has at least 75% of scenes completely focused on the main couple. This isn’t a drama that is heavy on the plot with only sprinklings of romance — instead, it reverses this, and there are so many adorable moments between our main couple that will definitely make you satisfied. Their relationship development is also very well done, especially from being attracted to each other as strangers, to slowly relying on and learning more about love through each other. Kabby Hui and Chen Jingke also have so much chemistry together, and you will not be disappointed by how passionate their kiss scenes are!

♡ Loveable and Endearing Side Cast: I absolutely loved so many of the side characters, from the eunuchs to even one of King Yu’s consorts who supported the main CP. While many of them did not receive as much screen time, they often played important roles in the drama, from helping the main CP grow closer, to caring about the main characters when they were frustrated or going through struggles. Props to Zhou Yiran, who did an amazing job as King Yu's right-hand man Zhong Li. The brotherhood between him and Xiao Yu played an important role in the drama, and I loved how the drama emphasizes how the side characters contribute to the character development of the lead cast.

♡ Relatively Good Pacing and No Draggy Scenes: I barely skipped anything in the drama, because of how I think pacing was quite well done. Again, this drama has a lot of romance, which is what always kept me watching. I never tired from seeing all of the "sugar" between the main CP. I also liked the way that there is some but not too much politics interspersed in the series, with the main conflict involving the battle for power between the two brothers, King Yu and Xiao Qi. I think I also liked how the “Evil Second Lead Female” is Wen Suyu, who actually is in love with Xiao Qi and not King Yu instead, which makes the overall drama a bit less predictable.

♡ Beautiful Production Value: While this is a lower-budget drama, I think the backgrounds and the pastel colouring was beautiful. The costumes and outfits were very nice, and the OST (especially the title track) is amazing. I think some of the most memorable scenes were very beautifully shot, and I really liked the cinematography of this drama. Many of the symbols, from the cherry blossoms to the wine cellar, were very nicely portrayed, and even though this show did not have a high budget it is clear that the sets were very well done.

However, there are also some things you might not like about the drama:

♥ Acting Issues and Directing Choices: There is a lot of overacting, especially in trying to be “cute,” by Kabby Hui, which is ironic considering how adorable her appearance already is. In many ways, I think viewers may have been less harsh on her acting if the production team had chosen to tone down her expressions. Many have dropped the show solely because of the FL, and I think going into this show with low expectations will help. I also emphasize that while there are many situations in which Jinyan gets into trouble and King Yu rescues her, she also helps King Yu to grow and balances his personal limitations. Jinyan protects the ML and sometimes even solves the ML’s interpersonal problems and relationships. Her best qualities are her efforts and the way she tries to help the people around her, even if sometimes she may stumble or she may get into trouble for doing so. If you can sit through some of the acting, then I think deep down Jinyan’s characterization is in fact quite brave, and she takes a lot of agency for the things that she does.

♥ Lack of Plot: This is not a drama that is focused on political schemes, and it is not a political thriller or an intricate plot where you have multiple people trying to take down the main CP. Most of the plot gets addressed in the last 8 episodes, with much of it crammed into the last 5. Ironically, I found the ending to be much less sweeter compared to all of the cute scenes that we had in the rest of the drama. That just goes to show how this is really a drama that's primarily for the romance, so if you’re looking for something with depth and political background, this is not a good pick. If you want something that is light on the plot, and you are invested in the main CP, then this might be something you are interested in.

♥ You Must Like the Main CP to Enjoy This Show: Because this show is so dominated by the romance, if you don’t like either one of the characters in the CP, or if you don’t like the actors, then you will likely have a hard time watching this. Most of the enjoyment of this series is really in the chemistry between the CP, and the many heart-melting scenes between both of them.

This was my crack drama of 2020, because of just how fluffy, adorable, unrealistic, cheesy, and sweet that this series was. If there is any drama that could literally give you diabetes, or a drama that is made for us "single dogs," I would definitely say that this is it. I absolutely loved the precious romance between the main CP, and how enjoyable and easy to watch that this drama was. While not all elements of the show may work for all watchers, if you're into a niche for something light and sweet, then I would highly recommend you give this show a try!

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Completed
The Best of You in My Mind
42 people found this review helpful
May 9, 2020
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 5
Overall 8.5
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.5
Music 8.5
Rewatch Value 8.5

Chasing Our Individual Dreams, Together

I can’t emphasize enough how heartwarming, realistic, and human The Best of You in My Mind is. This is a modern-day college drama that focuses on how the female lead Lin Xichi and male lead Xu Fang start from being childhood friends and eventually end up as lovers. Yet it is also about the journey of youth and the struggles we face in pursuit of our dreams as we become adults. Not only is it a very satisfying watch with a great happy ending, but our characters also navigate incredibly relatable and touching issues.

I'd highly recommend having a watch if you like these tropes:

♡ A Romantic Couple With Incredible Chemistry: Iriene Song and Gala Zhang have so much chemistry together — both actors depicted the transition from childhood friends to romantic interests very naturally. Most importantly, both Xichi and Xu Fang seek each other out during their hardest times, such as their struggles with their careers and achieving their dreams. They have such a healthy relationship where even though in the beginning they are always bickering and fighting, they are also always communicating openly with each other. Both not only share in the sweetness of their successes, but also support each other through their difficult times.

♡ A Male Lead Whose Charm is His Insecurity: Xu Fang is not a cold and domineering male lead, but instead he is incredibly insecure, doubts himself, and constantly reflects on his own limitations. One of the things I admire the most is how refreshing his character is, and how Gala Zhang’s acting was excellent in depicting Xu Fang’s personal growth. Xu Fang begins as unwilling to be a leader and as reluctant to take the top position in the university archery team, to achieving great competitive success. The drama did a great job showing his fears as well as his mental struggles and setbacks which often self-sabotage his own opportunities. Yet Xu Fang is also incredibly loyal, devoted, and willing to recognize how others such as Xichi are his greatest support. The fact that the male lead is not only afraid to cry and openly reflect on his weaknesses, but also loves wholeheartedly, made him very admirable and unique as a character.

♡ Likeable Main and Side Cast: I liked all of the side couples (both of Xichi’s roommates have love lines.) I also loved the eventual bromance and bonding that developed amongst the archery team. Characters such as the coach, who initially began as being very hard on Xu Fang, turned out to be one of his biggest supporters. I also feel like the time given to each couple was well-paced, and I didn’t feel like our main couple was sidelined for the narratives of the side couples, which I often find occurs in other dramas.

♡ Solid Story With Little Filler: There is little filler, and I appreciated how the drama showed different phases of the lives between the main characters. The majority of the show focuses on their college years, while the later parts of the drama (after episode 20) transition to post-graduation. While I think the first half is stronger and more tightly written, I liked how we could see the growth between our main couple, and also the mental challenges they both faced as they reconciled with making their dreams a reality.

However, there are also some things you might not like about the drama:

♥ The Family Drama: Part of the story is about how Xichi deals with the breakdown of the ideal family that she had envisioned and dreamed of. This is not a family situation that ends in utter tragedy (i.e. death), but without spoiling too much it impacted Xichi greatly. I personally really didn’t like this storyline, even though it (ironically) is what begins the drama and what you see from Episode 1. I was very disappointed with how illogically her parents handled the situation, and caused a lot of grief towards Xichi and her younger brother in particular. I admit that much of the drama does focus on Xichi finding her mom and coming to terms with her family situation, and for me personally this was not a fun part of the drama to watch.

♥ Strange & Irrelevant Use of Second Leads: Ye Shaowen is the second lead male who falls for Xichi. While I appreciated how he didn’t try to actively meddle with Xu Feng and Xichi’s relationship, he goes from being an important character in the beginning to nearly dropping out completely in the middle to late stretch of the drama. Additionally, one of Xichi’s roommates falls for Xu Feng, even though Xu Feng doesn’t notice her at all. I liked how she didn’t end up being a malicious female lead (even though the drama itself makes some strange edits to lead the viewer to think that she is). I think that the way that both second leads were incorporated were rather irrelevant and unnecessary, and didn’t really do much for the story itself.

♥ Break Ups: Without spoiling too much, there is a break up in this drama that occurs in the latter half. I personally liked it because it wasn’t stretched out, and it really was used in a manner that emphasized just how strong the relationship between Xichen and Xue Fang was. I also thought that the break up itself was very realistically handled and occurred for good reason (not because of external meddling, but because of internal mentalities and struggles) but I know that some viewers may be frustrated by seeing a couple go through the break-up process.

I'd highly recommend you watch this if you liked dramas that have fluffy romance, while also being a great slice-of-life drama that touches on many relevant issues. This show not only had great production value, but also had actors that did an incredible job making the characters likeable and relatable, and showing not only the successes they achieved but also the struggles and disappointments they faced. Most notably, this drama touched on realistic mental and psychological difficulties of trying to achieve your dreams, which is something I think is often missed out on in youth dramas. If you’re looking for a drama that depicts day-to-day life on campus and childhood lovers to adults romance, this is a good one to pick up for easy watching!

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Completed
Love Is All
27 people found this review helpful
May 26, 2020
26 of 26 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 7.0
Story 7.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 6.0

Healthy and Strong Romance, Weak Criminal Cases

If you're looking for a light, easy watch that's relatively drama-free and focused on romance, Love is All is an adorable historical romcom. The series shows how Tan Lingyin and Tang Tianyuan solve different criminal cases together, and come to love and rely on each other along the way. This relationship is extra sweet, especially when Tan Lingyin discovers that Tang Tianyuan is actually her childhood idol. While the drama has its strengths in terms of the main romance, however, it also has some of its issues in relation to its stagnant plot and storyline.

I'd therefore highly recommend having a watch if you like these tropes:

♡ Healthy Romance Between a Magistrate and His Subordinate: There will be many comparisons to the relationship between Lu Yi and Jian Xia in the 2019 drama Under the Power, which I believe is accurate, as our main love line is also very natural and adorable. Both Zhang Ruonan and Zhang Haowei have incredible chemistry together, and showed how Tan Lingyin and Tang Tianyuan are not only very innocent in love, but also eventually grow to deeply care for each other. Tang Tianyuan also never uses his powers to overpower or control Tan Lingyin, but instead to help her and to encourage her to become a better advisor. Both characters thus begin with a bickering relationship, where Tang Tianyuan is more careful and strategic, while Tan Lingyin is mischievous and reckless. However, they also always consider each other’s well being and put their partner first, and have many heart-melting scenes that will make you feel “squishy.”

♡ A Focus on Women in History: The drama uses many instances to show some of the struggles that women face, especially to be respected and recognized for their work. While the historical aspects of such scenes may not be completely accurate, I did like how the show explored how Tan Lingyin’s abilities are questioned because of her gender. These conflicts are not only shown in the way the men in the drama speak about women and their roles, but also through side characters such as Zhou Zhengdao, who disguises herself as a man to work undercover in the Magistrate’s office. This is by no means a drama that deeply delves into these problems; but its attempts to highlight and incorporate some of them should be recognized.

♡ A Funny and Lovely Side Cast: I was surprised by how much I liked some of the supporting characters, and how much life they added to the drama. I absolutely loved Tang Tianyuan’s brotherly relationship with Zheng Shaofeng, and how both of them worked together to pursue the women they loved. I even loved Zhu Dacong — the silly fiance who Tan Lingyin attempts to run away from, because despite the fact that he was often the “fool” in the series, he was absolutely loyal and respectful to her even when she continuously tried to get rid of him. Most of all, while our second male lead Duan Feng does not get much screen time, he was incredibly handsome as a roguish bandit and was fun to watch as well.

♡ Cute Edits and Comedic Humour: This drama uses a lot of slapstick comedy, and uses cute extra-diegetic edits (i.e. whiskers, blush, funny cutscenes, etc.) as well as techniques such as breaking the fourth wall, that add to the lighthearted tone of the series. Overall, it’s meant to be a very fluffy and humorous series, and while the comedy may not work for all watchers, it’s nice to see as a break if you are watching more plot-heavy or emotionally investing dramas at the same time.

However, there are also some things you might not like about the drama:

♥ Major Logical Inconsistencies: There is a need to watch this show with quite a healthy amount of suspension of disbelief, and to not take the drama or its events seriously. There are a lot of issues from the outset, including characters that are supposed to be incredibly smart, yet unable to see the obvious (i.e. how the drama ridiculously implies that Zhao Zhengdao is completely unrecognizable when she dresses as a man, with her disguise being apparently so effective it can fool Zheng Shaofeng — who supposedly is great at gathering intelligence — for a solid ¾ of the drama).

♥ Somewhat Ineffective Genre-Mixing: Unfortunately, I don’t think the combination of crime and comedy in this series, especially when Love is All veers more on the comedy side, worked very well together in this drama. I think the main problem is that the cases themselves seemed very inconsequential, in that nobody seemed to be at serious risk or danger at any moment. Most of all, sometimes it also seemed as if characters, while demonstrating adherence to their moral beliefs, acted in unprofessional ways or sidelined their cases for their personal life. I admit I also did find myself sometimes fast-forwarding scenes where they were discussing cases, since I found them rather uninteresting. Thus, if you’re looking for a drama that depicts the solving of intricate crime scenes with interesting and gripping stories, this is not a show for you. However, if you really want something with a focus on romance, where the crime solving is just part of the background plot and helps to minimize filler scenes, then you may appreciate these aspects more.

♥ For A “Crime-Solving” Drama, Can Be Boring To Watch: Unlike other crime dramas, where villains may be more compelling and give the impression of being “evil” or “dangerous,” this drama didn’t really ever venture into this territory. Moreover, the length of the drama seemed to be too long, considering how little time was spent on cases, and cases often felt anti-climatic rather than exciting or mysterious. I emphasize that this is a light drama that really focuses on the romance between the different characters, and it has a very fluffy tone and colour palette. Consequently, while this drama never satisfactorily builds up any moments that can be considered high-stakes or life or death for the main characters, the lack of angst may be something that you appreciate if you want something that’s less heavy to watch.

I'd highly recommend you watch this if you liked dramas with a precious romance between the main characters, and you want something that’s light and binge-able. This is a great watch if you want something to take your mind off for the day, or to unwind and smile over at how comedic and meta the series is. While the comedy certainly will not work for all viewers, and some may find aspects of the plot boring and draggy to watch, the adorable romance between the characters is sure to make your heart warm if you want to see a couple with incredible chemistry.

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Completed
For Married Doctress
26 people found this review helpful
Jul 22, 2020
24 of 24 episodes seen
Completed 4
Overall 7.0
Story 7.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 6.0
Rewatch Value 6.0

A Romantic and Quick Historical Watch — If You Can Handle the Ending

There is one main reason I started watching this drama, and it’s because our (perpetually) second lead male actor Mi Re/Merxat is finally in one of his first leading roles. After completing this drama, I truly have a lot of mixed and bittersweet feelings. Overall (without spoiling anything) I believe this show's strengths include the performances and the overarching plot, although some viewers may take issues with the ending of the series.

Some aspects viewers may like about the drama include:

♡ An Overbearing Yet Powerless King: Merxat does a really great job making Yuwen Yong possessive and quite “black belly,” while also showing how vulnerable he is. You see from the beginning how he is physically and emotionally suffering even though he holds the position of Emperor, and also how few people he has around him that truly care for him. I think this makes the plot itself quite interesting, especially since part of the storyline is not only focused on the romance, but also how he and Liu Jing/Jing'er navigate an environment that is literally and figuratively poisoning him. I have to say that Merxat's portrayal of the ML was very well done, especially with both the emotional and romantic scenes.

♡ A Smart, Mischievous, and Talented FL: Probably one of the best aspects of this drama is its portrayal of women. The female lead Jing'er has her own dreams and aspirations, which do contribute to her romance with Yuwen Yong, but also give her agency and personality separate from their love together. Jing'er not only uses her abilities to help Yuwen Yong, but also works hard to improve herself in order to achieve her own dreams. Most of all, her skills often end up either saving her or the Emperor, and often come in handy whether it be to protect herself or to uncover some of the broader political conspiracies in the palace.

♡ A Romance That Stands the Test of Conflicts: While Yuwen Yong often does some things that can be problematic, such as threatening to make sure Jing'er never leaves, in fact he deeply worries about her and the drama makes it clear that he falls for Jing'er first. I love how in a way their romance and chemistry felt a lot more adult, even if they start off by bickering and misunderstanding each other’s feelings. Merxat does a great job at being a devoted ML, and the drama also shows how both Jing'er and Yuwen Yong are lovers who are mutually equal in competence, despite their differences in status. They work together to solve problems, navigate the political conflicts that arise within the palace, and to support each other with their individual strengths in such a dangerous environment.

♡ Loveable Side Casts: Yuwen Zong plays an adorable and naive little brother, and I found it refreshing that he and Yuwen Yong had an overall supportive and loving relationship in the series. Many of the side casts, from the eunuch to Liu Jing's maid, are also not only close friends and confidantes, but support the main characters together as they go through different challenges. I also surprisingly really loved the tragic love story between the enemies Dugu Cheng and Tang Wan, and felt that they had great chemistry together, and that their screen time was tastefully done and well integrated into the overarching drama. While there are definitely characters that are more hateful, including some of Yuwen Yong’s concubines, I liked how some of the side characters were truly friends with the main cast.

♡ Short Length: The show is not draggy, and I think it really benefited from being a relatively short length as well as adapted from a novel. It’s overall very easy to watch and digestible, especially if you want a historical drama that has a balance of politics and romance without being too complex. I was able to follow the overarching political schemes of the drama without getting bored, and I think the number of episodes is very suitable for the storyline.

However, there are also some things that may be an issue or less enjoyable for viewers:

♥ Casting: I think there was some miscasting going on, or at least I was a little confused about some of the cast choices in this show. Gong Mi looks a little more mature than some of her castmates, and I wished they had simply incorporated this into the script (i.e. made her older than Yuwen Yong) instead of giving her a personality of a young and innocent girl who is still unaware of the world. I think it’s refreshing to have more mature and older women cast as female leads, and therefore I wished that they had just made this into part of the drama. Not to mention that much of the supporting cast, especially Yuwen Zong, looked significantly younger than the main cast. In other words, I think because of the casting sometimes I couldn’t tell whether this show was deciding to go into a youth romance drama territory, or wanted to delve into a more adult historical romance.

♥ Ending: Without revealing too much about the ending, what I will say is to be prepared for a conclusion that may potentially not satisfy you, and also closes off the possibility of a second season. I personally found it a bit strange that the directors decided to take the drama in this direction, because this drama fits a certain niche (light and romantic historical romcom) where this type of ending has not yet been done. At the same time, I emphasize that I was spoiled about the ending before I made the decision to watch this drama, and likely if I had known that this would be the outcome I may not have committed as much time to watching this show. I highly recommend you check out some of the spoilers to prepare yourself if you are considering watching this.

♥ Genre: Again, this is related to the ending, but I felt as if the drama couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a lighter and fluffier romantic drama, or if it wanted to be more introspective and angsty. There are many parts that are fluffy and sweet, but as we get to the latter stretch of the drama it navigates into serious tragedy territory. In other words, I feel as if this drama targeted an audience that may be looking for fluff, but then I warn to prepare yourself for the last five episodes, which deviate quite a lot from the sweetness of the earlier episodes.

♥ Production Value: It’s pretty clear that this is really low budget, even amongst the other dramas that fit the niche of short historical romcom. Some similar dramas that also are part of this genre include Oops the King is in Love (2020), Dr. Cutie (2019), My Dear Destiny (2020), The Love by Hypnotic (2019), and Love Better Than Immortality (2019). And I have to say that out of all these dramas, in this drama the sets and clothes were by far much less high-quality compared to the titles I’ve listed. You can sometimes see very clearly where the longer wig pieces attach to the back of the head, as well as how the majority of the costuming and backdrops are made out of cheaper materials. I also didn’t find much of the music or OST very memorable, which I found to be quite rare for a historical drama. While this is a matter of taste, I also note that the drama went for a more saturated and darker colouring, compared to the usual more pastel tone of shows in this genre.

This was a watch that I found to be relatively good for passing the time, especially while waiting in-between for other shows that were airing. It doesn’t drag much because of the episode length, has solid acting, and I really liked seeing Merxat on screen after such a long time as the male lead. At the same time, however, I would caution viewers about the ending, as well as some of the limits of the series with the lower production value. If you have the time and are interested in a binge-able romantic historical drama, then I would recommend you try this out while taking cautious note of some of its issues.

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Completed
In a Class of Her Own
98 people found this review helpful
Aug 15, 2020
36 of 36 episodes seen
Completed 5
Overall 6.0
Story 6.0
Acting/Cast 7.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 4.0
This review may contain spoilers

All Aboard the Hot Mess Express

Despite the beautiful production value and great performances from the side characters, In a Class of Her Own managed to take a well-praised and solidly written show, and water down the series into a remake that leaves a rather bitter aftertaste. This drama did not have the tension or the romance of the original Korean drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal, and I’d recommend going into this one with low expectations — and perhaps also picking up the original show instead.

To start off with some of the positives of this show:

♡ Awesome Side Casts: Wang Ruichang and Bi Wenjun have to be praised for their performances as Lei Ao and Le Xuan respectively. Both characters were complex with deep backstories, and the issue was that at times their acting easily overshadowed that of Song Weilong who was the main lead. Both characters have their own personal struggles and conflicts that they undergo during the drama, and I think their stories were well incorporated into the broader plot of the drama. Their unique and distinct personalities gave them good rapport with the main leads, as well as the other students in Yunshang, and I think they were really the standout performances of the show.

♡ Cute Team Chemistry: The chemistry between our “Yunshang F4,” or Lei Ao, Le Xuan, Wen Xi, and Cheng Jun was my favourite part of the series. You can see how each of them grows to care for each other deeply, even if they start off in the beginning as being wary and bickering with each other. When they face difficulties in both their personal lives and in the broader politics of the series, they help each other and support each other through their challenges. It’s really a treat to see how these four friends become each other’s family at the school, and how each of them in their own way supports one another.

♡ Updated Production Value: The great thing about this remake is that it updates a lot of the milieu of the series, from the beautiful clothes and uniforms, to the beauty of Yunshang Academy. The props and backdrops were all very high quality, and I loved how every member of the side cast had their own unique dressing style which complemented their personality. Ju Jingyi has some gorgeous outfits and jewelry, especially when she dresses as a girl. The soundtrack was also very well done and memorable, and overall the general design and colour story of the drama are ethereal and tastefully incorporated into the show.

♡ Mischievous Female Lead: Truthfully, despite comments on how Ju Jingyi is very pretty and beautiful, and not believable when disguised as a boy, I think that her performance has improved and quite liked Wen Xi as a character. While I did have issues with some of the romance in the series, especially her relationship with Cheng Jun, I think the Wen Xi (especially in her pursuit of being a scholar) was quite admirable and fun to watch. I also loved how the drama did delve into the status of women and the poor, and questioned relevant social issues such as understandings of meritocracy and the inheritance of power. Overall, I liked how she lived up to the name of the drama, where she played to her strengths in order to achieve success, and changed the social and political norms at Yunshang Academy.

But there are also some major issues with the show, including:

♥ Lack of Chemistry and Romance: I will warn that this show has no kiss scenes, and that the romance is not well done in the series (in fact, the romantic lines between Wen Xi and Lei Ao, as well as Wen Xi and Le Xuan, seem more believable and well-developed). The main issue is that Feng Cheng Jun can be quite a bland character, and never really develops or experiences character growth. In addition, the drama clearly tries to show Wen Xi falling for Cheng Jun because of his upright nature and his intelligence, but this often comes as abrupt instead of organic, especially considering how the drama never really explores Cheng Jun’s own weaknesses and limitations. In other words, the main lead never really has the same kind of personal growth as the other side casts, which makes it difficult to appreciate him as a character and as part of the main couple.

♥ Banter and Comedy is Rather Flat: Supposedly, this is a drama that is meant to be interspersed with comedic moments, but I never really found the show to be all that funny. There were attempts made to create "running gags" in the drama, such as Lei Ao's "do you want to die?" catchphrase, but often didn't work as well as they did in the original series. I will also say that some of this is because the character relationships have been changed a little (i.e. in the Korean version, the characters Lei Ao and Le Xuan had BL undertones), and I think the dynamic they tried to use in the show didn't work as well as it did in the Korean drama.

♥ Pacing Issues and Cutting Out Important Plot Points: One of the main reasons Sungkyunkwan Scandal was hard to put down was because it was a show with a lot of tension and to some extent even suspense. The viewer was always led to worry about when the female lead’s identity would be exposed, why there were political manipulations in the school, and there was always the fear of the backgrounds of the main cast being revealed. Unfortunately, In a Class of Her Own sometimes verges on boring, especially as some of these problems are never properly foreshadowed, explored, or developed in the drama. Instead, time was put on arbitrary scenes to artificially create romance, or extend dialogue and conversations about broader political issues that focused less on the students and instead on the teachers and generals.

♥ The Trainwreck of the The Last Couple Episodes: One of the things that the original Korean drama did very well was showing its characters taking accountability for the elements of the plot. For example, there are consequences for being disguised as a male, for taking vigilante justice, and for other problems that the show introduces. In a Class of Her Own however seems to wave off resolving the issues that it introduces, and instead makes a rushed attempt to address the main plot during the latter stretch — which is ironic, given how this show had more episodes to work with. The show therefore loses the sparkle that it had in the first half, when the students were solving issues in the Academy, to fill its last half with problems that result in a less than satisfying and logically inconsistent ending.

In A Class of Her Own had a lot of potential to be a great remake, especially since it already had a very well-written story to work with. While the show succeeded in some ways, such as through the refreshing performances of its side cast and the updated production of the series, it lacked immensely in terms of balancing the plot, creating a believable romance, and living up to the sparkling chemistry of the original series. While the drama is not terrible, I can’t really recommend taking the time to watch this if you are expecting In a Class of Her Own to live up to to the freshness of Sungkyunkwan Scandal, or unless you are a fan of the actors in this series.

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